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#230623 - 06/12/08 06:27 PM This one's a new one for me
MarkK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/02/07
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denver, CO
I've read about people having flashbacks, nightmares - all that seem to be about remembering the abuse acts themselves.

I am having panic onsets. Not anxiety - pure panic. Like out of nowhere suddenly I'm in fight-or-flight mode. They're not real often, but when they hit they are disasterous. There's no conscious memory involved, I have no idea what's bringing them on. I don't notice anything triggering. All I know is I can't think, can't reason - takes forever to use breathing and grounding techniques to get myself quieted back down.

This happen to anybody else out there? If so - how did/do you handle it??

M


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#230641 - 06/12/08 07:59 PM Re: This one's a new one for me [Re: MarkK]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Mark,

How to react depends on whether it's a flashback or something else. Quite often flashbacks come without the visual stuff, but with intense memories of old emotions you experienced. You panic because these are trauma memories, so they don't have any reminder with them to assure you they belong in the past. So the "remembered" feelings are immediate and are, as you say, pure panic.

When I feel this kind of thing coming I try to sit down and tell myself what it is - I have nothing to fear in the present. I always have a wristband on, so I snap that to remind me I am in the present, or else feel the arms of the chair or my feet on the floor. I try to avoid hyperventilating - slow deep breaths do the trick. For me this kind of response helps a lot.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#230673 - 06/13/08 03:15 AM Re: This one's a new one for me [Re: roadrunner]
JasonSmalls Offline
Guest

Registered: 12/01/07
Posts: 142
Loc: NJ
Mark,

I get killer panic attacks. When I'm in the middle of one I swear I feel like I'm going to die. My hyper-ventilate and I get really bad chest pains and stomach pains and pains all over my body. Some of my panic attacks are from being triggered by something or are flashbacks. But it's weird because even though I'm in pain during them it's also like I'm paralyed while they're happening.

My panic attacks last anywhere from a few minutes to almost a 1/2 hour, but it usually affects me for a while afterwards. I just try to stop myself and to keep myself from getting more upset by trying to think and feed into the things that cause me to panic. I try to breathe better. Usually my granpda sits behind me and puts his arms around me and keeps telling me in my ear that I'm safe and I'm ok and stuff like that until I start to breathe slower and I calm down.

For me, it's like I'm back in one of those painful situations again and even though it's not really happening, it seems so real to me. I wish I could give you advice on how to control them and not let them happen, but I'm still trying to figure that one out too.

Hope you feel better.

Joey


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#230751 - 06/13/08 03:39 PM Re: This one's a new one for me [Re: JasonSmalls]
MarkK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/02/07
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denver, CO
Originally Posted By: roadrunner
I always have a wristband on, so I snap that to remind me I am in the present, or else feel the arms of the chair or my feet on the floor. I try to avoid hyperventilating - slow deep breaths do the trick. For me this kind of response helps a lot.

Haven't tried the wristband thing... Hyperventilation is a MAJOR for me - but my brain starts saying i'm breathing too slow - and i get this war going on in my brain overy my breathing ... }sigh{

Originally Posted By: JasonSmalls
Usually my granpda sits behind me and puts his arms around me and keeps telling me in my ear that I'm safe and I'm ok and stuff like that until I start to breathe slower and I calm down.

You are an extremely fortunate young man, Joey - to have your grandfather there to help you. i can imagine having someone there, holding you, reminding you that you are safe must be a big help.

Originally Posted By: JasonSmalls
For me, it's like I'm back in one of those painful situations again and even though it's not really happening, it seems so real to me.

Exactly.

M&m


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#230756 - 06/13/08 03:55 PM Re: This one's a new one for me [Re: MarkK]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Mark,

Mike Lew has a great phrase for this that he uses in his workshops when he feels guys might be getting too intense: "Don't forget to breathe." Just the way he said it had "slow deep breaths" implied in it. Maybe that's a trick you can use. That is, tell yourself, "Don't forget to breathe" when you're okay and everything is normal, and as you tell yourself that, relax and take slow deep breaths. Practice the exercise when you have control, then when you feel panic coming you will have a reference point to fall back on - something to hold onto emotionally, if that makes any sense.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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